While a return date has not yet been determined, the National Hockey League announced this week its plan to stage the Stanley Cup playoffs. That plan includes 24 teams advancing to the postseason, with the Boston Bruins and the Tampa Bay Lightning sitting as the co-favorites on the updated Stanley Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Boston and Tampa Bay are the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference half of the playoff bracket, with the Washington Capitals the third seed, and the Philadelphia Flyers the fourth seed. Those four teams will get automatic entry into the first round of the playoffs, with Washington and Philadelphia both set at a line of +1000 on the Stanley Cup odds.
Eight Eastern Conference teams will then compete in a play-in round to determine the other four teams that will advance to the first round of the playoffs, with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the Montreal Canadiens, the Carolina Hurricanes facing the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders meeting the Florida Panthers, and the Toronto Maple Leafs up against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Of that group the Penguins have the best Stanley Cup odds at +1600, while the Canadiens, the final seed, are the biggest current longshots at +25000.
Over in the Western Conference the top Stanley Cup odds at sports betting sites are owned by the Colorado Avalanche, who sit at +750. That puts them ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights at +850, the St. Louis Blues at +900, and the Dallas Stars at +1400. Those four teams are the top four seeds in the Western Conference bracket and get the playoff bye.
Matchups to decide the other four participants in the first round in the Western Conference are the Edmonton Oilers vs. the Chicago Blackhawks, the Nashville Predators vs. the Arizona Coyotes, the Vancouver Canucks vs. the Minnesota Wild, and the Calgary Flames vs. the Winnipeg Jets. Edmonton has the best NHL betting futures of that group at +1600 odds. The Chicago Blackhawks, the West’s No. 12 seed, are +15000 longshots to win the Stanley Cup.